melanoma tumor removal - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-21-2010, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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melanoma tumor removal

Anyone have any luck with it? My poor little mare Shaddy has tumors all over her genital area and in her mouth. The two huge ones she has inside her cheeks do not bother her at all but the ones around her genitals are growing. I sent a photo over to my vet via email as we've been discussing what to do about them. She was diagnosed when she was 13 (so six years ago) when they first obviously showed up. Over the last six years they haven't grown much as we've charted the growths by measuring them. Now, all of a sudden, they appear to have gone throw a growth spurt. It was recommended we leave them alone before but now we are taking about possible need for surgery if they continue to grow.


My poor lady. I washed off her bum and tail today as she had a bit of poo and dirt down her back legs and was sad to see thet state of her rear end. She is the sweetest mare to ever walk the earth. Not a mean bone in her body. I watched her for two hours and they don't appear to bug her when she poos but her bottom does need to be cleaned now as there are so many growths she some times gets poo caught up in the crevices.

Anyways, I've heard that if you remove them they can grow back more aggressively. Has anyone else had experience with this? I'd love to hear some personal stories. I can't wait for him to get back to me on what he thinks is best. They get much bigger they will get in her way of pooping.
Cougar is offline  
post #2 of 4 Old 09-21-2010, 11:27 PM
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I have not had any experience with removal of melanoma tumors but was told that there is an injection of some type of chemotherapy bead that can be injected into the melanoma to shrink it. Surgery is not always an option depending on the location(s) of the tumor. Also, a side effect of the prescription antacid Cimetidine often slows the tumor growth and is quite popular for maintaining horses with melanomas.
Tiffany172 is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 09-21-2010, 11:42 PM
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The best person to ask about this is your vet, they will be able to tell you if they think they can get clean margins which is often the difference between curative removal and aggressive recurrance. I will say that I have seen lots of them removed from the perineal area (where you say she has hers) and they do really well. The surgery is usually done under sedation with the horse standing rather than under general anesthesia which makes it much safer.

As far as the ones around her mouth, that may be trickier because you'd need to keep her off feed/give mash for a long time during recovery, but you say they don't seem to bother her so I'd personally let those be.

I haven't heard about Cimetidine for melanomas, are you sure you're not thinking of Mast Cell tumors? It is commonly given for management of these tumors as they secrete histamine and Cimetidine is a histamine blocker. Maybe I'm just not familiar with that use though, would be cool to learn something new!!
tealamutt is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 09-22-2010, 12:05 AM
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Unfortunately I have been (and am still going through) this. I had 2 taken off of Dobe I think last summer. The vet said that the most important thing when determining whether or not to surgically remove them is whether or not there is enough excess skin in the area to stitch back closed to prevent infection. Fortunately, his were in an area that wasn't too close to anything vital and the removal was relatively easy. With them being actually on her genital area, surgical removal might not be an option for you. I have heard of some success with a form of chemotherapy but I would imagine that could get very expensive in a very short amount of time. My heart goes out to you and your girl. Huge hugs to the both of you ((((())))). I hope you can get something figured out with your vet to keep her as comfortable as possible.
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